For the past 25 years, CoachComm has been a provider of intercom systems to major college football programs. According to Gary Rosen, the company’s global sales manager, CoachComm has a 97 percent market share of NCAA 1A football programs, including marquee name schools like Alabama, UCLA and Notre Dame. However, when CoachComm sought to expand their offerings to the professional market with its Tempest wireless communication line of products it encountered a bit of a hurdle.
“Many people would say, ‘we don’t really do coaching, we’re not sure why you’re coming to us,’” said Rosen. “We realized we needed a name change that helped illustrate to the industry that we were stepping up our efforts for the professional market, so Pliant Technologies was formed.”
Pliant Technologies is a new division of CoachComm that will focus specifically on the professional market. This will include broadcast and live production, as well as other markets like nuclear power plants, hospitals, board rooms, etc. The flagship product for Pliant Technologies is Tempest wireless intercom.
Tempest came about as a result of CoachComm’s CEO and Founder Peter Amos recognizing the FCC’s adjustment of frequencies and rules regarding UHF spectrum about 10 years ago could become a big issue for all RF devices. As a result, the company began to develop a new product that would fit with these new regulations. During the process, Amos realized the same RF technology being used for the sports market could be applicable to the professional market.
When Tempest was first released in 2009 for the professional market, CoachComm distributed the product on a non-direct basis. While Rosen described it as a successful relationship, he said “we decided this summer  it was time for us to take back the management of our own distribution for Tempest.” One of the reasons he says contributed to this decision was the preparation of a launch for a new set of products that are set to premiere at the 2016 NAB Show.
While Pliant Technologies will have its own products and target audience, the company still falls under the larger CoachComm umbrella. It will operate out of CoachComm’s office in Auburn, Ala., and is made up of the same leadership, including Amos as CEO and founder, Rosen as global sales manager, Mark Rehfuss as regional sales manager, and Debbie Hamby as marketing director.
“People are familiar with the Tempest name much more than the corporations behind it,” said Rosen. So whether it is known as CoachComm or Pliant, Rosen stresses the goal of the company is to make sure customers “are getting the same support they’re used to getting from CoachComm and Tempest.”
Pliant Technologies will be located at booth C12719 during the 2016 NAB Show, which takes place in Las Vegas from April 16-21.